Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May Listings Update

Old ones, new ones...
Riots in Camden
A free historical exhibition for Cityread London 2016
12 April 2016 – 11 June 2016
(Opening Hours: Mon 10-6 Tues 10-6 Thurs 10-7 Fri 10-5 ; Alternate Saturdays 11-5)
Admission Free
Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre
    Holborn Library
    32-38 Theobalds Road
    London WC1X 8PA
Phone     020 7974 6342
Performances of *“Dare to Be Free”*
   - Saturday 14 May, 2pm,  in the Inspire Centre, 
   <> 747 Stockport Road, Levenshulme, Manchester M19 3AR. 
 (Mary lived in Levenshulme for many years at 20 Barlow Road).
   - Saturday 15 May, 2pm, in the Glossop Labour Club
   <>, 15 Chapel Street, Glossop SK13 8AT

   - Saturday 4 June at Three Minute Theatre
   <>,  Afflecks Arcade, 35 Oldham Street Manchester M1 1JG.   
This final performance will be  part of the launch  of the second Mary Quaile publication, *Dare to Be Free: women in trade unions, past and present**, * a pamphlet which has a biography of Mary Quaile and ten interviews with women active in trade unions at grass roots level. The launch will start at 2 p.m. and the play will be on at 3.30 p.m.

More information on the play  and pamphlet:

Applied History Network

History and the Housing Crisis
A discussion event

Tuesday 14 June 2016, 6.30-8.30pm, London EC1

We are pleased to announce our next Applied History event on History and the Housing Crisis to be held on the evening of 14 June 2016 at the Marx Memorial Library. The event is free to attend but booking via our Eventbrite page is essential.
We are currently in the midst of a housing crisis. House prices are on average seven times people’s incomes, and with the economic downturn repossession rates are soaring. In the private rental market rents are also soaring, especially in London, and at the same time one-third of private rented homes fail to meet the Decent Homes Standard. All the while the government continues to pursue the sale of council houses and housing association homes. Hundreds of thousands are pushed into homelessness, living in temporary accommodation or on the streets.
In this event we will ask what the historical roots to the current housing crisis are, what historical solutions have been posed, and how we might tell the history of housing politics. Did past politics of rent strikes or squatting work, and do they work in the same way today? What solutions have past local and national governments pursued to resolve housing crises, and could these be pursued again? And why is it important to remember the history of housing today? Should we look to the past to think about what the future of housing politics in Britain might look like?
The panel members will each approach the topic from a different vantage point based on their experiences and will speak for 15-20 minutes each. After which, the discussion will be opened up for the next hour or so to include the floor.
Dr Lisa Mckenzie Research Fellow at LSE
Gianmaria Givanni Architect from Studio Givanni
Elena Carter Archivist, Tavistock Institute and Wellcome Library
Fourth speaker TBC

Date: Tuesday 14 June 2016
Time: 6.30pm-8.30pm
Venue: Marx Memorial Library, 37a Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1R 0DU

This event is supported by the Raphael Samuel History Centre.
Patron: Peter Hennessy 
Founded in 1996, the club challenges the commercialisation & isolation of modern life.  We meet monthly on Saturday evening.
‘Fellowship is life & the lack of fellowship is death’.  William Morris
 Saturday 14th May 2016
Speakers: Derek Smith, Jenny Matthews,
David Gardiner, Irene Rosenfeld
Four London writers discuss why & how they write. Between them, they have vast experience of producing poetry, short stories, plays & novels for children & adults. They have been published by major & smaller publishing houses & have self-published, run writing groups & blogs & given advice about creative writing & creativity in general. They will read out examples of their work. Come & hear their thoughts of what has shaped & helped them, & bring your own questions, preoccupations & short bits of writing to share with them.
Venue Epicentre, West Street, Leytonstone E11 4LJ
Times 7.30 pm   Buffet (bring something if you can)  
           8.00 pm   Talk & discussion till 10pm
Travel  Stratford stations & 257 bus  Leytonstone tube (exit left) & 257/W14 bus  Overground: Leytonstone High Rd, turn right, short walk
 Access  Disabled access, car park, bikes can be brought in, quiet children welcome. You can phone to confirm the talk will be as shown. Meetings open to all - just turn up.
Enquiries  0208 555 5248   Free entry / voluntary donations welcome / raffle
Invitation to contribute to and attend 
Independent Working Class Education Network Day Schools - 
London 4th June, Durham 8th July.

IWCEN Day Schools are always friendly and brim full of discussion.
Email: to Book a Place at either.

1.    Getting the Record Straight and Winning Again
Saturday 4th June 10.00 - 2.30
London UnitetheUnion Offices (Holborn)

ContributorsSally Groves (Trico), Ann Field (Wapping), and Martin Eady (RMT), Colin Waugh, Chris Coates and Richard Temple.

£5.00. Lunch provided; pay on the day.

2.    Mineworkers Around the World; taking on the giants - and winning
Friday 8th July. 11.00 - 4.00 Durham Miners' Hall, Redhills.

This Independent Working Class Education Day School will give us all an insight into the way the Global Multinationals operate, and what we can do to stop their nonsense.

Elizabeth Cotton will lead the discussion; she co-authored the book "Global Unions Global Business" which is described as “the essential guide to international trade unionism" There will be other speakers.

(The Durham Miners Gala/Big Meeting is the next day.) 
£5.00 includes lunch, pay on the day.
Wakefield Socialist History Group have a number of events between now and the end of the year.

Our next event is on SATURDAY 25 JUNE, 1pm at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1 when Shaun Cohen from the Ford Maguire Society will be talking about  THE YORKSHIRE REBELLION OF 1820
All welcome. 

"On the evening of 31 March 1820 there was a rising in the textile villages around Huddersfield.  Several hundred men marched on the town itself with the intention of taking it from the garrison stationed there.  However when backup failed to materialise the plan was aborted and the men dispersed.  Four of their number -John Lindley, John Peacock, Nathaniel Buckley and Thomas Blackburn- were later committed to the York Assizes.
Then on 11 April several hundred men from Barnsley and the nearby villages of Dodsworth and Monk Bretton marched to Grange Moor near Huddersfield.  They believed that they were part of a rising postponed from 1 April.  This time they had arms and provisions, marched to a drum beat and had colourful political banners.  There was even talk of a march on London.  But yet again they were to be disappointed.  Only 20 men from Huddersfield were there to back them up.  Dejected, the group quickly dispersed -though 18 of the Barnsley men would later be indicted for high treason.
In Sheffield on the same day there had been plans by 200 men to take Attercliffe Barracks.  They had assembled in the Haymarket chanting "Hunt and Liberty", "The Revolution, The Revolution!"  Their leader John Blackwell symbolically fired off a pistol but at the last minute the attack was aborted.  Blackwell got 30 months in prison (Stevenson 1979)

 On Saturday 25 June at 1pm  at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1 the Wakefield Socialist History Group will be hold a meeting about the 1820 Yorkshire Rebellion.  The main speaker is Shaun Cohen (Ford Maguire Society).  The chair is Adrian Cruden (Green Party).
Admission to the meeting is free and there is a free light buffet.  There is also a bar with excellent real ale."
Convenor, Wakefield Socialist History Group.
On Saturday 16 July at 12 noon, the Wakefield Socialist History Group are holding a meeting at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1 on "Tolpuddle..and the fight for trade union rights today."  Admission is free; all welcome.  If you would like to speak please get in touch.
Tolpuddle and the GNCTU
 David Brandon (2008) looks at the case of the Tolpuddle Martyrs very much in terms of the rise (and subsequent fall) of the Grand National Consolidated Trade Union.
The GNCTU (1834) was founded a decade after the Combination Act (1824) which apparently established the legality of workers organising in unions.  Part of the GNCTU's programme was to push for a "great national holiday" -effectively a general strike- after which a "co-operative commonwealth" would be inaugurated.
It is in this context that we should look at the Tolpuddle Martyrs.  They were agricultural labourers who, faced with wage cuts, decided to form a branch of the GNCTU.  And at the time -given the readiness of the state to use spies/informers- it was customary for GNCTU branches to initiate members using ceremonially uttered oaths.
And it was under 1797 legislation -passed in the aftermath of naval mutinies- that the Tolpuddle Men were charged with "administering illegal oaths."
They first appeared in Dorchester before magistrates who were their "sworn enemies" -i.e. labourers and farmers.  But the magistrates had been in touch with London and it was decided that a High Court judge be dispatched to try the men.  The jury was handpicked -one man found to be a Methodist and potentially sympathetic to the workers was quickly discharged.  The judge himself made clear that he thought the purpose of unions was to "destroy property" and that the defendants must be "made an example of."
Tolpuddle was about therefore "bashing" the nascent trade union movement and in particular the GNCTU.  The punishment they got -seven years in an Australian penal colony- was the maximum available.  In due course, following a massive campaign, the men were pardoned.  In the meantime however the GNCTU had buckled and faded away.

[RaHN blogger adds:-]
Records for at least two of the Tolpuddle martyrs can be found at, e.g. Transportation Register 
George Loveless colony Van Diemen's Land; term years; ship William Metcalf
tried Dorset Assizes; trial date 14th March 1834
register text "Convicted at Dorset Assizes for a term of 7 years on 14 March 1834."
 and Founders & Survivors George Loveless age 37; b 1797; height 64.25; term 7 years
tried Assizes; trial date 14th March 1834; vdl [van Diemen's Land] departure date 25th May 1834
vdl arrival date 4th September 1834; ship vdl William Metcalfe
offence report "administering unlawful oaths"; gaol report "unknown"; hulk report "good"
 An email correspondent adds:
"You may also be interested in a general history of the Trade Union & Labour movement, which will be presented by Ray Riley on Tuesday 31st May. This is an expanded version of a class he ran recently for Hemsworth CLP (he is their political education officer) and we have invited him to repeat it at the Labour Club.  This is a more general survey of the subject than is usual for the Socialist Historians, but Tolpuddle will be amongst the topics covered, so it will be a useful introduction in advance of the 16th July event."
More info (including a poster) on 
From London region CND:
June is to be a “month of direct action” against Trident at Burghfield near Reading, where Trident nuclear warheads are assembled.  This month of action is being organised by the Trident Ploughshares campaign.

A London group to take part is being organised to take part in this month of action.

 We have one initial meeting and have formed a small group to take part. 

 Now we want to invite other people in London to join our group.  If you’d like to, please come to our second meeting on Monday the 14th March from 6.30pm at the CND office at 162, Holloway Road N7 8DQ; nearest tube Caledonian Road on the Piccadilly Line.  (Turn right out of the station and the front door of the office is about 150 yards down the Holloway Road, on the opposite side of the road, past the London Metropolitan University buildings.  There is a large nuclear disarmament symbol on the door, which is a bit obscured behind a bus stop shelter.)  

See leaflet about women’s action on Trident on June 20th at Burghfield.
The next event for the Public History Discussion Group

Saturday 7th May: 

Please note change of programme

(formerly billed as : Rethinking Urban Histories through Anti-Gentrification Struggles, Dr. Sue Pell. )

Due to unforeseen circumstances this meeting will now be led by Elena Carter, Archivist, Tavistock Institute & Wellcome Library titled ‘‘Setting the record straight’: housing politics and the archive' aUCL's Institute of Archaeology, room 6.12.

Focusing on recent regeneration programmes in South East London, this talk will discuss the highly politicised motivations behind community-based history-making endeavours by exploring how housing activists create and use archival resources to create a ‘useful past’. The talk will consider how the autonomous space of the archive provides authority and independence for community groups to construct and define their own stories in order to set the record straight and bear witness to changing city landscapes.

We will be serving tea and coffee from 11:00 in room 6.09. The talk will start promptly at 11:30, lasting for about half an hour. There will also be time to discuss the programme for next year’s series so please think about any suggestions.



We regularly have a variety of events in the shop, and are always welcome for suggestions from authors, artists and campaigners who want to use the shop for evening events. Past events include talks, book signings, film screenings, art exhibitions and musical performances.

Click here for an archive; which includes a number of selected filmed highlights, of our previous events. Also, you can view video from some special events here.
Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, King’s Cross,
London, N1 9DX
tel: 020 7837 4473
Coming up in May and June:-
‘Lean Out’
with Dawn Foster
Wednesday 11th May, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase
‘Place is the Passion:
Reframing the Israel/Palestine Conflict’
with Bill Williamson
Saturday 14th May, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase
‘George Orwell Now!’
presented by the Orwell Society and Richard Blair (Orwell’s son)
Wednesday 18th May, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase
‘Life is War: Surviving Dictatorship in Communist Albania’
with Shannon Woodcock

Tuesday 24th May, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase
‘How to dismantle the NHS in 10 easy steps’
with Dr Youssef El-Gingihy

Wednesday 25th May, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase
‘Breathe: Stories from Cuba’

with Leila Segal
Saturday 28th May, 4pm
Free Entry
*Please note this event is being held downstairs in our Vaults, and is only accessible via a staircase.

BOOK AND MUSIC EVENT‘That Precious Strand of Jewishness that Challenges Authority’ with Leon Rosselson:

Wednesday 1st June, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Ciaran Walsh reading ‘Red Dagger’
Saturday 4th June, 4pm 
Free Entry, downstairs in the Vaults

*Please note this event is being held downstairs in our Vaults, and is only accessible via a staircase.
‘Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence’ with Thandisizwe Chimurenga 
Wednesday 8th June, 7pmEntry £3, redeemable against any purchase
BOOK EVENT‘Refugees on Lesbos: one volunteer's story" 
with Bev Jackson 
Wednesday 15th June, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase
BOOK EVENT‘Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics’
with Richard Seymour  

Saturday 18th June, 6.30pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase
‘Cut Out: Living without Welfare’ and ‘Island Story’
with Jeremy Seabrook and J.D. TaylorWednesday 22nd June, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

‘Looking for Trouble’ 
by Roque Dalton, and presented by John Green and Michal Boncza
Saturday 25th June, 4pm
Free Entry, downstairs in the Vaults

Notifications from:

Working Class Movement Library
51 The Crescent,
Salford, M5 4WX
United Kingdom
(For more on WCML and updates, see link now on our 'Kindred Spirits' list)

Seventh Frow Lecture
A reminder that Richard Cleminson will give the Library's 7th annual lecture in honour of Library founders Edmund and Ruth Frow in the Old Fire Station, University of Salford on Saturday 7 May at 2pm. His topic is “A new world in our hearts”: anarchism and the Spanish Civil War.
Admission free; light refreshments after.  All welcome.
Richard is Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Leeds.
In this lecture Richard will outline and critically assess the anarchist political and cultural contribution to social progress in the 1930s and anarchist participation in the revolutionary period of the Spanish Civil War. The talk focuses not on the military aspects of the war, although these are touched upon, but on the revolutionary changes made possible by the anarchist and anarcho-syndicalist movement, particularly the CNT (Confederación Nacional del Trabajo - National Confederation of Labour) in respect of the agrarian collectives, the collectivisation of workplaces, changes in gender patterns, the contribution to cultural and educational change, and the "revolution of mentalities" fostered by the anarchists over this period.

Conscientious Objectors DayThe Friends of Manchester Peace Garden are holding an event 'to mark the quiet heroism' of those who followed their own consciences by refusing to take part in any killing during a time of war.  On Sunday 15 May at 4pm people are invited to gather in the former Apple Market between the Cathedral and Chetham's School of Music, which is the Friends' preferred site of the future Peace Garden.  The Open Voices choir will sing and  names of local COs will be read out.  All welcome.

And on Tuesday 17 May at 6.30pm Dr Clive Barrett will give a talk, Subversive Peacemakers, at the Rochdale Pioneers Museum alongside their exhibition dedicated to COs Percy Redfern and George Dutch.  He will highlight a strong strand of anti-war sentiment in the Church of England during WW1, which was opposed to the dominant theology of the Establishment. This was partly based on traditional Christian pacifism, but included other religious, social and political influences.

Cotton famine talkOn Wednesday 11 May at 7.30pm, Saddleworth Historical Society is hosting a lecture by Dr. David Brown of Manchester University, "Distress in Lancashire": the Cotton Famine and British Intervention in the American Civil War.

The American Civil War (1861-65) had a profound influence on British politics and society. Abraham Lincoln’s naval blockade drastically curtailed cotton supplies, and the ensuing Cotton Famine caused a devastating downturn in the Lancashire textile industry and severe unemployment among cotton operatives. Could the Famine have forced the British government to break its policy of neutrality?

"The talk takes place at the Conservative Club, High Street, Uppermill, Saddleworth, OL3 6AP (the Society has no political affiliation...)."  Admission £3.

Radical Histories/Histories of Radicalism conference and festival, July 1-3 

See separate post.


Lttle Rebels and London Radical Bookfair 2016

The London Radical BookfairThis year the event will take place on Saturday May 7th at Goldsmith’s UniversitySee separate post.

A Magnificent Obsession?': UCL Public Lecture by Dr. Hilda Kean, 11 May
The Department of Information Studies and The Institute of Advanced Studies Presents:

"A magnificent obsession? A historian's search for a man (and his horse) in the archive."
A public lecture by Dr Hilda Kean
on Wednesday 11th May 2016,
Common Ground, South Wing Wilkins Building, UCL, 

"Imagine: a series of apparently unread London diaries from the 1940s "found" in a local archive without accession records; an almost anonymous author; war, gossip, back biting, and accounts of riding horses - Mariana and Trump - daily in Hyde Park. Why wouldn't any cultural historian be engaged?" 
In this public lecture Hilda Kean explores what her diary research was about: the diaries? the horses?
the historian and a particular "moment" of reading?

(Dr Hilda Kean is an Honorary Senior Research Associate in the Information Studies department at UCL and Visiting Professor in History at the University of Greenwich.)

Talk starts promptly at 6.00 p.m. No booking required.


PHDG write:

"Unfortunately, we will have to cancel our final meeting for this academic year. We recently received a letter from Hilda, sending her best wishes and even though she is not able to take the walk this year, she hopes to be able to do it again in future.

"We will be in tough with further details about the new year 2017/2018 as soon as they are available."


Medact London Launch and film

Launch event of a new Medact local group in London, 
on May 5 at the Lush shop
on Oxford Stree
They will be showing 'The Divide', a documentary based on the book 'The Spirit Level' by Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson. The documentary aims to explore the growing gap between the rich and poor in the UK and the US. Katherine Round, the director, will be attending for a Q&A session.
Tickets cost £4.50, and can be purchased here.
Medact is a charity for health professionals and others working to improve health worldwide.
It conducts research and analysis.
It campaigns and lobbies.
It educates and informs.

It is independent of powerful interest groups. It sees health through the lens of social justice.

Trade Union Forum: Trade Unions and the European Union

09:30 – 14:30 Tuesday 17th May
River Room, Kings College London
History & Policy’s Trade Union Forum is pleased to announce a half-day conference 'Trade Unions and the European Union'.
Ahead of the UK’s referendum on continued membership of the European Union, the Trade Union Forum will explore the roles that Trade Unions have had in shaping the public debate on EU policies, reflect upon the roles the Unions played in the 1975 referendum, and offer suggestions for TU engagement in the ongoing debate.

Speakers will include Dr Andrew Blick (Director, History & Policy), Lord Monks (former General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation), Dave Prentis (UNISON), Doug Nicholls (Chair of Trade Unionists against the European Union) and Jean Lambert MEP.
Admission is free. Lunch & Refreshments included. Tickets can be booked via website as above.


Festival Massimadi

Du 5 au 7 mai 2016
Bronks (Bruxelles)
Le festival des films et documentaires LGBT d’Afrique et de ses diasporas, articulé autour de projections, séminaires, concerts et d’expositions, permet d’aborder les questions sur les nouvelles identités recomposées et relocalisées, qui ne sont plus seulement rattachées à des espaces ou des lieux. Cette année, le festival Massimadi a choisi de mettre en lumière et en débat les questions LGBT et noires sous l’angle des dominations qu’elles soient « racialisées », politiques, sociales et/ou sexuelles. Le programme met en évidence des films qui illustrent ces questions pour les communautés noires des diasporas, tant dans une perspective historique que contemporaine.

[... This year, the Massimadi film festival has chosen to highlight and debate LGBT and black issues...]

Pour plus d’informations :

Renseignements :
15-17 Rue du Marché aux Porcs
1000 Bruxelles (Belgique)
 I AM with them
 Je suis avec eux
Du 10 mai au 3 juillet 2016
Institut du monde arabe (Paris)

Cette exposition pensée comme un manifeste photographique redonne identité, dignité et humanité aux réfugiés venus du monde arabe. La photographe Anne A-R a suivi le parcours de ces hommes et de ces femmes de l’île grecque de Lesbos jusqu’à leur arrivée en Allemagne. Alors que les médias et les politiques parlent de ces réfugiés comme d’un flux à contenir, d’une masse à contrôler, l’exposition I AM with them et l’Institut du monde arabe leur donnent la parole et racontent leur histoire.

[This exhibition... restores identity, dignity and humanity to refugees from the Arab world...]

Pour plus d’informations :

Renseignements :

Institut du monde arabe
1, rue des Fossés Saint-Bernard
75005 Paris

Rural Radicalism Conference,
Saturday 4th June 2016  at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge
Helmore 251 (first floor of the Helmore Building on East Road, Cambridge)
10:00am – 4.45pm
Organised by the  Labour History Research Unit at Anglia Ruskin University and the Victorian Studies Centre, at Saffron Walden Town Library
Programme on LSHG blog
London Socialist Historians: 

LSHG seminar - Keith Flett on The European Referendum in 1975 and the Left

Monday 6 June - LSHG seminar
Keith Flett on 'The European Referendum in 1975 and the Left'
Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St London WC1E 7HU (Room 304 - 5.30pm)

Blanqui and his Legacy: An international conference

Friday 27 May 2016 Time: 9.45am - 6.45pm Venue: Room 0001, John Galsworthy Building, Penrhyn Road campus, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE Price: free but booking in advance essential

Speaker(s): Mitchell Abidor, Ian Birchall, Doug Greene, Peter Hallward, Eric Hazan, Philippe Le Goff, Dominique Le Nuz, Marisa Linton
Join the Centre of Research in Modern European Philosophy for perhaps the first international conference in the UK on Auguste Blanqui's revolutionary work and legacy, which is part of Professor Peter Hallward's ongoing AHRC Research Leadership Fellowship Project.
General Strike conference May 21st

The 1926 General Strike at 90 - what is its relevance now?

London Socialist Historians Group conference 
Saturday 21 May 2016 from midday
Room NB02, Lower Ground Floor
Institute of Historical Research
Senate House, Malet Street London WC1E 7HU

A reminder that on Saturday May 21st (Institute of Historical Research,Room 301 midday-4pm) LSHG are running a free event (donations for costs welcome) on the 90th anniversary of the General Strike.
Ian Birchall and Daryl Leeworthy will speak on new research they have done on 1926. Sue Bruley (an authority on women and the General Strike) and Keith Flett will comment and lead a general discussion.
Highlights for socialist historians at Marxism 2016

Marxism 2016 - Ideas for revolution runs from 30 June to 4 July in central London - it is roughly the same sort of time as the Radical Histories conference, but nonetheless includes highlights for radical and socialist historians as per link - from LSHG blog

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